This cake broke my heart.
It baked in the oven for a full hour and a half, filling my apartment with the enchanting, homey scent of apples and cinnamon and whiskers on kittens. With such a glorious aroma perfuming my home, I was convinced it would emerge from the oven absolutely perfect. When the timer finally rang, I was horrified to find, well, a mess.
The cake batter bubbled over the sides of the pan and dripped in messy, brown glops down to the cookie sheet underneath (thank goodness for the cookie sheet!). The remaining edges were done when the timer rang, but the center was completely raw.
Still, I have a really hard time calling this dessert a failure. The truth is it was delicious – sweet and moist, with crispy-chewy, golden brown edges. I made it for Handsome Greg’s birthday dinner, and we all loved it. Well, we loved the parts that were baked through. We ate the edges then put the center back in the oven to finish baking it through, about 40 minutes.
And the failure? Is my fault. The original recipe from Smitten Kitchen is perfect. I wanted desperately to follow it as written, but I didn’t have a tube pan, so I used a 9 x 13. And that was my downfall. I read the many reviews that said, “Oh, I made this in a 9 x 13-inch pan, and it came out perfectly.” I’m convinced those bakers have not only raw, runny apple cake, but also pants on fire.
Continue reading for the Apple Cake recipe
- 6 apples, (I used 3 Granny Smith and 3 Golden Delicious)
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 2¾ cups flour, sifted
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup canola oil
- ¼ cup orange juice (I used orange-tangerine juice)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2½ teaspoons vanilla
- 4 eggs (I used 2 eggs and ½ cup egg substitute)
- Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a tube pan (for real—don’t try to use a 9×13. The center will be raw).
- Peel and core the apples. Chop into 1-inch pieces and toss with cinnamon and sugar.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, juice, sugars, and vanilla. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ones, then add the eggs.
- Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan, and spread half of the apple mixture over it. Pour the remaining batter over the apples and arrange the remaining apples on top. Bake for about 1½ hours, or until a toothpick comes out clean.